Having the misfortune of falling in love with a narcissist, you might find yourself calling your own sanity into question. After all, who would choose to stay with someone who thinks the entire world revolves around them?
Who would choose to stay with someone who makes a loving relationship based on mutual respect and intimacy sound nearly impossible? You can’t help but ask yourself, are you a glutton for punishment? Are you a masochist?
What other way is there to explain the inexplicable pull you feel towards this person? Everyone around you thinks you’ve gone off the rails, and you’re starting to believe them.
You’re tired of being caught up in a vicious cycle of questioning your emotions, explaining his behavior, and being labeled as weak.
But, what if I told you that you’re not the only one who feels that way? That you’re not the only one who chooses to love a man who doesn’t seem to be capable of loving anyone but himself? That you’re not the only one who chooses to stay when everyone around you thinks you should leave?
Many people decide to stay with narcissists or stay connected to them in one way or another. Narcissists aren’t the embodiment of evil, contrary to popular belief. More often than not, their positive qualities outweigh the negative, or at least that’s what they want you to believe.
You see, there’s a difference between a true narcissist and someone who displays narcissistic tendencies from time to time.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in situations where we’ve acted as if the entire world revolved around us and nobody thought to put a personality disorder label on us.
A true narcissist is selfish, self-centered, and self-involved. A true narcissist isn’t capable of empathy; the needs of the people around him are trivial and a mere afterthought. Most importantly, a true narcissist makes having a genuine relationship with him practically impossible.
That said, just because you fell in love with a narcissist doesn’t mean you’re weak.
Narcissists can be incredibly charming and charismatic. They spend most of their time seducing you into giving them what they want. Who wouldn’t fall for that?
They can also be persuasive, rule-breakers (in the best way possible), and ridiculously good with words. Chances are you fell for this narcissist because you’ve never met anyone like him in your entire life.
You never even stood a chance, which is why you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it.
Would you call yourself weak for trying your best to understand and accept his flaws? Would you call yourself weak for trying to defend him against the world and trying to be his shoulder to cry on when he becomes painfully aware of his imperfections?
No, you wouldn’t. Falling in love with a narcissist doesn’t make you a weakling. It means you’re willing to look past his weaknesses and stick around long enough to witness his strengths.
It means you’re willing to learn how to tolerate his behavior and love him in spite of it. Contrary to what the world wants you to believe, you can have a genuine relationship with a narcissist.
Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure you’re not tolerating abusive behavior, you’re setting the right boundaries, and you’re focusing on your needs.
Be gentle with yourself.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be incredibly exhausting and maddening. There are so many things you have to learn to tolerate – his perfectionism, his self-worth and self-esteem issues, and his inner struggles and battles.
So, in order to protect your sanity, you have to provide yourself with plenty of love. You have to be gentle with yourself whenever you feel like you’re weak and you haven’t done enough.
You have to focus on yourself and remove yourself from whatever situation is causing you stress.
Set some boundaries and demand accountability.
One of the worst things about being in a relationship with a narcissist has to be his lack of accountability whenever he falls back into negative patterns.
He might struggle with respecting your boundaries, but… You have to ensure you demand his accountability regardless of his reaction.
Trust me, a narcissist counts on you to stop expecting things from him because he knows that’s the only way he can get away with his behavior. So, deprive him of that satisfaction!
Choose your battles.
Narcissists thrive on the sense of power and control they get when they’re involved in a personal conflict. It’s not unusual for a narcissist to start an argument out of sheer boredom.
So, it’s up to you to choose which problems are worth the hassle. Let him have his childish tantrums without getting involved and see what happens.
More often than not, that will be enough for him to get rid of the built-up anger and deal with his issues without your help. It’s not your job to fight his battles, and it’s certainly not your job to fix him.
Focus on the positive things.
When you learn to take a step back and notice how downright ridiculous your narcissist can be, you might find your belly aching from genuine laughter.
Try finding humor in his words, I’m-better-than-everyone-else stories, lack of self-awareness, and lack of empathy for the rest of the world (believe it or not, that can be funny). Try to find humor in the messy world he’s created in his own head.
Trust me, just because you fell in love with a narcissist, doesn’t mean you’re weak. You shouldn’t let other people’s perceptions manipulate you into thinking there’s something wrong with being in a relationship with a narcissist.
There’s nothing weak about choosing to love someone who’s been shunned and rejected by the rest of the world. There’s nothing weak about choosing to embark on a journey that requires patience, empathy, and plenty of perseverance.
As long as you remember to put yourself first and remove yourself from the relationship the moment you start feeling unsafe, you might be rewarded with the most authentic experience ever!